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Social Media Buzz Weekly: Roundup of Social Media Updates

Welcome to Social Media Buzz Weekly, your weekly bulletin of the latest social media updates. With the social media landscape evolving with each passing day, it can be challenging to keep a tab on the rapid developments. Well, not anymore, as we have taken it upon ourselves to keep you abreast of every happening in the social media space.


So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most significant developments from the last week in the world of social media.


1. TikTok Faces US Ban After Discovery that Chinese Officials had Used the App to Spy on US Journalists


https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/dec/22/tiktok-bytedance-workers-fired-data-access-journalists


TikTok’s future in the US is looking a lot less certain, after an investigation found that parent company ByteDance had been spying on several American journalists whom it believed had been in contact with ByteDance staff, and gained access to commercially sensitive information.



TikTok, which remains under investigation by the Committee for Foreign Investment (CFIUS) over its potential linkage to the CCP, has repeatedly pledged that US user info is not being shared with China-based staff. Back in September, TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee that the company has ’a series of robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols’ in place to limit internal data access, while it continues to work on more advanced data protections


2. Snap Adds New Snapchat+ Elements for the Holidays


https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/snap-adds-new-snapchat-elements-for-the-holidays/639379/


Snapchat has announced some new Snapchat+ additions for the holidays, with the program’s 1.5 million subscribers now able to access three new options in the app.



S+ subscribers will now be able to customize their Camera buttons, including the camera icon, in-app function displays, and more. It will give users more ways to make their Snapchat experience their own. Snapchat+ users will also now be able to apply custom backgrounds to their chats in the app. While Snap’s also enabling users to gift an S+ subscription for Christmas, which could be a simple means to increase take-up.


3. Twitter Adds New Qualification Process for Community Notes to Improve Note Value


https://www.theverge.com/2022/12/21/23520486/twitter-community-notes-restriction-rating-impact-content-moderation


Twitter’s adding a new way to improve the accuracy and value of its Community Notes, via a new qualifier that will require Community Notes contributors to ‘unlock’ the ability to write Notes by first rating other Notes submitted in the app.



According to the social media giant, everyone who joins Community Notes can rate notes. They can unlock the ability to write notes by helping to identify helpful and unhelpful notes. To unlock the ability to write, new contributors need to earn a Rating Impact of at least 5. Rating Impact relates to how often a contributor’s ratings helped the community identify notes which then went on to earn a status of ‘Helpful’ or ‘Not Helpful’ among the broader user group.


4. Instagram Launches 2022 Recap Templates for Reels


https://hypebeast.com/2022/12/instagram-2022-recap-reels-templates-feature


Instagram has added a new way to help users celebrate their year, with 2022 recap templates for Reels, which incorporate narration from various celebrities.



Instagram is now prompting users to ‘Create Your 2022 Recap Reel’ in-stream, which, when activated, will take you through the process of adding posts and videos that you’ve uploaded throughout the year into a dedicated Reels template. Instagram’s 2022 recap templates will be available globally for several weeks into 2023. Once you’ve uploaded your recap, it will remain on the Reels tab of your IG profile.


5. Twitter Switches Brand Profile Avatars to Squares to Counter Impersonation


https://www.redmention.com/news/twitter-switches-model-profile-avatars-to-squares-to-counter-impersonation/


Twitter’s endlessly perplexing verification revamp is now taking a new turn, with brand profiles now becoming square-shaped to better highlight them in-stream. As a result, brand profiles are now showing up as square tiles, in variance from the circle profiles for regular users.



Twitter’s $8 verification program had immediately opened up a new pathway to impersonation in the app, which caused various headaches, for various brands, within hours of the option being released. In order to counter this, Twitter has since added gold checkmarks for brands, that can’t be bought, so that users will know who the official brand account actually is, with these new square tiles adding another level of assurance, as people will eventually come to understand that real, official brand profiles show up as squares, not circles in the app.


6. TikTok Looks to Provide More Insight into Why it Displays Each Video in Your ‘For You’ Feed


https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/learn-why-a-video-is-recommended-for-you


TikTok’s looking to provide more insight into why you’re seeing what you’re seeing in your feed with a new ‘Why Am I Seeing This?’ explainer tool that will provide some of the potential reasons that guide its algorithmic decisions.



From now on, in the ‘Share’ menu on any video clip in your feed, you’ll see a new ‘Why this video?’ option in the row beneath your social sharing options. Tap on that and you’ll get a couple of possible reasons as to why that specific video is appearing in your display.


7. Facebook Adds Another Way to Facilitate Reels Creation in the App


https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Facebook-Adds-Another-Reels-Creation-Option/639262/


Meta’s adding yet another way to get users to share Reels on Facebook – even if they don’t have their own video content to upload to the app.



Meta’s added a heap of tools and processes designed to both highlight short video clips in feeds and facilitate simplified creation of short-form video content, with this latest iteration being the ultimate end game for such a process. Following the explosive growth of TikTok, Meta has been trying to get more users to share more short-form videos, in order to tap into the same trend and align its own platforms with what it considers a transformative usage shift.


8. Twitter Provides New Ad Placement Controls to Reassure Ad Partners


https://business.twitter.com/en/blog/adjacency-controls-third-party-measurement.html


Twitter is rolling out new Adjacency Controls, which will enable brand to prevent their promotions from appearing alongside Tweets that include chosen keywords that they’d prefer to avoid.



The option will provide ad placement controls in ‘relevance-ranked Home Timelines’, which covers the majority of Twitter usage. That’ll give some extra assurance to brands who don’t want their promotions showing up alongside hate-based commentary and conspiracy theories.


In addition to this, Twitter will also expand its partnerships with brand safety partners DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science. DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science will also provide independent validation of Twitter’s efforts to uphold the GARM Brand Safety Floor, which seeks to prevent unsafe ad placements.


9. Twitter Implements New Rules Banning Links to Other Social Platforms


https://techcrunch.com/2022/12/18/twitter-wont-let-you-post-your-facebook-instagram-and-mastodon-handles/


Twitter will no longer allow linking out to any competing social platform, in any way.



Users will now have to remove all links in their bio, and no longer tweet links to their accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, and Post. Many users had noted issues trying to link to their Mastdon accounts over the past week, which seemed to be Twitter’s attempt to stop a user exodus. Twitter also noted that 3rd-party social media link aggregators such as linktr.ee and lnk.bio are also banned.


Wrapping Up

And that was a wrap of this week’s Social Media Buzz. We’ll be back next Monday with more news and updates for you from the social media world. Till then, stay tuned!


If you want to read more on the latest developments taking place in the social media space, take a look at ClickInsights’ Social Media Buzz, wherein we bring to you monthly reports on everything going on in social media, ranging from platform updates to policy changes that influence the way we market.


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